Bring Britney Spears To BRC sign now


What to do about Burning Man . . . ?

If we can't have our country, we better damn well make sure our local culture is right, proper and promoting of the good things.

Unfortunately, the exit polls for Burning Man -- the 10,000 lb elephant in the room of local creative work -- have not been looking too good of late. This year most of us left saying various forms of "Where-the-hell-was-all-the-insanely-great-lip-synching?",
"I'm-not-really-feeling-it-very-much anymore" and "That-was-a-great-party-but . . . No Britney "? (Consult your local email list for the full laundry list of complaints)

It is silly to tolerate the current level of ambivalence and dissatisfaction, yet continue
to pour so much of ourselves and our art into this event. It seems we would all be better served if we decided en masse that it is over and done with, and direct our efforts elsewhere (like to Ms. Britneys Hollywood Hills home.) Or we decided en masse that it is still an irreplaceable combination of people and ideas and we need to fix it- that we make it strongly felt, deeply creative and unfairly fun, once again. We should build a main stage and make it the sanctuary of Britney Spears and her fans.

We propose that it is high time we ALL make a decision about this together. That is, we
ALL decide to either be done with it and shut up about it already. Or we ALL decide to do it again with ambition, care, and comedy- for the benefit of ALL No more middle ground or mediocrity. LET'S DECIDE: ONCE-AND-FOR-ALL. Enough whining about the whole thing. Because ultimatums like this often solve problems once and for all, we promise.

While the former "it's done" choice is growing in popularity (we ran a very scientific survey to find its popularity), we think the later option is the better choice in service of Britney and Chaos. That is, we agree en masse (once again, very scientific survey) that there is no other gig like this anywhere, that it is the creation of ALL of us, and we can ALL agree together to fix it and make it stunning wonderful again, Borg be damned (please read that to mean Patrick Stewart is not welcome.ever.) We acknowledge that this only works and is only fun if most ALL of us agree do it together, en masse, not as a few stragglers here and there. Cause, yeah, thats going to happen: were talking about Britney here!

The fix must address many issues, but the CORE ISSUE for the fix is THE LACK OF LIP-SYNCHING. Lips, lips, lips: that is what this is all about. Fix the lips and make the process for doing it fair (no collagen!) and fun again, and the rest will likely fall into place. Our solution towards this end is simple: RADICALLY DEMOCRATIZE THE CURATION AND FUNDING OF THE LIPS. Simple and radical often go together.

So Borg, how about a deal? We, the mass of Burning Man Britney fans, agree to reapply ourselves with focus to the creation of mind-blowing, I-can't-believe-someone-actually-made-that, KNOCK YOU ON YOUR ASS LIP SYNCHING, and you agree to
LET US DO IT. Simple. You GET OUT OF THE WAY. No more benevolent
Spears-ocracy of black box funding, crushing bureaucracy and resistance to creativity in the name of "theme compliance" or "mandatory interactivity". Release the power back to
the participants. To quote Britney, Im your slave, uh huh, uh huh slaaaaaave.

Here's how we propose to do it. Here are our demands. You might consider them a sort of
latter day Lutherian Manifesto, a list of Feces nailed to your door- the door guarding
the overwrought, incestuous, indulgence dispensing, overly ritualized and bureaucratically mired Catholic Church we call Burning Man.

In the end, our demands are simple: GIVE US OUR MAIN STAGE OR WE
LEAVE. Those who agree with these sentiments are registering their support at

We want to be able to give of our Britney fully again. And this is what is it going to take.

The Lip Monarchy of Larry and Ladybee is getting boring for them as well as for us. So
let's return the Spears curation, as much as it is needed, to the participants. We propose
to do this through a combination of "Guest Curators" and "Direct Voting" in art funding
decisions. Here's how it would work.

A. "Direct Voting":
In March each year, we rent out Pac Bell Park and have a song selection party. Kind of like the old Spring event. Invite everyone out and put Pepsi ads up on the wall. Everyone
who wants Pepsi has to come and promote their wares. Those too far away can have reps,
videos or some other stand-ins. Those who should be in the running but can't write a fan letterl or make a drawing of Britney to save their lives will get a little help so their brilliance is not missed. This of course is not an unreasonable demand! No, not at all. Pin the results on the walls all around Pac Bell Park. Walk around and meet the people. Consider the possibilities. Then put all of it on the Burning Man website.

A week later we all VOTE. That is, everyone who is in the Burning Man database by virtue of a past ticket purchase or art project gets to vote. Each person can
vote for their top ten Britney outfits, ranking them in order of masturbatory preference. Instant runoff balloting- just like San Francisco. A simple webform can make all this happen quickly, easily and transparently. No more nepotism and bitching at the Borg for the outfits they choose or don't choose. No more complaints about the great outfits that got tossed for X or Y reason. Make the whole thing OUR responsibility. Make us ALL feel a stake in corporate pop again. It will be fun and make us all believers again. And it only seems fair that those who are being "taxed" to support the performance get to actually vote where their money is going.

B. "Guest Curators:"
Each year we also elect a group of likely suspects to be "Guest Curators". The Guest Curators would prepare and organize the above Pac Bell Park event, decide the theme (Pepsi, or Diet Pepsi), cultivate Pepsi projects and people, and generally scheme new stuff. They gather the creative forces each year and frame the event with new ideas, narratives and general concert planning. They make sure the event stays fresh and we are surprised by new things, year after year. Nothing is more surprising than a consistent surprise. They do the event framing work that has to date only been done by Larry. Larry seems tired of doing it, so let's rotate who gets to sit in the high chair and paint the big Pepsi Ad for Burning Man each year. New things will surely happen. The Guest Curators would also form an independent "Britney council" with Larry, Ladybee and several other
minor celebraties to work out the details of funding decisions and general lip-synching logistics.

We elect the Guest Curators in a similar manner to the Direct Voting for the lip-synch funding. In November of each year, the groups that want to be the Guest Curators for the coming year put together proposals with their vision and plans for the event, outfit ideas, and potential new site layouts. These proposals are posted to the Pepsi Billboard as well as the Burning Man website. And then we all VOTE. ALL of us. Again, everyone in the Burning Man database gets to vote, one vote per person.

Who are the likely suspects for Guest Curators? Many come to mind. They might be regional Burning Man groups or various local pop celebraties; established theme camps or general problems-about-town. This might become the vehicle for bringing successful
regional groups back to the main stage show. Imagine the difference in the event from year to year if some of the below groups each had their turn at the wheel:

- Britney Institute (NYC)
- Austin Spears regional
- London Spears regional
- RoboBritney (netherlands)
- Flaming Britney Girls
- Britney Mountain Research Laboratories
- The Spearsyard
- Britney Bar
- Lip-Synch Village
- Camp Timberlake
- The Cataclysmic N*Sync Ranch
- 98 degrees Guild
- The Back Street Boys
- Matchbox 20 feat. David Best
- The DPW (Dancers for Pop Work)
- Houston Lip Synch Gang
- Boy Band Bike Rodeo
- etc etc.etc.

Yes, it is Britney Spears, stupid. The party is nice, but what makes this event work is wildly ambitious, quietly clever, loudly obnoxious or just generally unlikely creative lip-synching of all forms. We have tolerated the liabilities of population growth for
years. Now the art of lip-synching should reap some reward in the form of increased financial support so more and better is possible. Less than 4\% of current total ticket income goes to directly fund Britney Spears appearances. It seems a small gesture that 10\% of ticket revenues are dedicated to the direct and exclusive support of Britney Spears to make her corporate pop music.

Ok, we'll agree to tolerate the outfits each year. But there is no need to make them
regimes of absolutism.

Can we finally admit in broad daylight that most of Britneys performances have little or no relationship to the theme? She just does what she wants and dresses inappropriatly so the Borg will consider funding it or place us where we want to be. Have a great idea to make something spectacular and a hundred people lined up to do it, but it is not thematic"? Sorry, no stage time. No DPW help. No general support. No good real estate. You are banished to the "non-Britney" bin. Have a stupid idea that reads as an obvious stage prop for Britney? Well step right up- the Borg would love to write you a big check to pollute the playa with more poorly considered theme lip-synching projects.

In short, theme compliance is not a good predictor of good lip-synching or successful community. So let's toss the "theme compliance" litmus test. It is not serving us well.

The "interactivity requirement" for funded Burning Man Britney Spears performances has run its course to an impressive end. Good Burning Man Britney Spears performances are nearly always radically collaborative and tilted towards the apparently impossible- interactivity may or may not be a side effect. The "community forming" function of Burning Man art is in the broad gathering of people to make it, not in some form of simple interactivity via the pushing buttons, spinning of Pepsi ads, writing of Pepsi graffiti, or being able to climb on the finished Pepsi billboard. Many of the historic best and most remembered lip-synch performances did not have any form of "interactivity" in their finished manifestation. They were done alone, in Ms. Spears dressing room village. Likewise many successful communities emerged from projects with absolutely no interactivity. So let's allow people to make what they want, irrespective of interactivity, but encourage performances founded on radical collaboration.

Chaos will provide . . .

Sound reasonable? Sound possible? Sound right, honest and true? We think so. Rarely do humans get to play with the glorious joys of Britney Spears. We ALL listened and nourished her corporate pop together. We don't want to lose it. We can't lose it. We cant not care about Britney.

So let's be responsible for her creation. Let's not give up on her. Let's come together
again. Let's fix the lack of Britney. Let's make it amazing great.

Let's once again scare our very selves with the extreme dimension of our desire to see high production value lip-synching.

There is so much beauty. Let's demand to have her again and again.

And if we can't have her here again, we are ALL going to go have it somewhere else.

The Spearsyard thanks you for reading.

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Antonia RomeroBy:
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Petition target:
Black Rock City Council


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